01.15 Sat

January 15, 2011
Brad Wilber

Theme: None

Ya know how I'm always whining about how the late-week LAT puzzles aren't hard enough? Yeah, today, not so much. Wow. A big DNF for PuzzleGirl today. I could not get that northeast corner to fall. The reason I'm so late posting this is because I was working on the puzzle this morning and just knew if I gave myself enough time I could crack it. But no. Here's what happened. I know that sometimes when you're absolutely positive that an answer is correct, you just have to erase it and start over. I know that. I know that! So I erased that whole area getting rid of RICH, ERN, MOMA, and I LIKE IKE — all of which I felt really confident about. Ya know what I left in? AGHA. I had AGHA where SHAH was supposed to go and that kept me from finishing this one. Now, I'm not gonna lie to you. There were plenty of issues before that. With ERN in place, I thought 12D would be some kind of "drive" ("DVD drive"? "USB drive"?). I tried "O'Jay" for the 17A: Disco family name before the Bee Gees (i.e., the Brothers GIBB) finally came to the rescue. So, yeah, I struggled up there quite a bit even before I got to the real problem. And here's the thing. I thought I was being so smart knowing that an imaginary monster might be a CGI-something — CGI being an acronym for Computer-Generated Imagery, which is what a computer animator might use to create an imaginary monster for a video game or movie or whatever. That's why I couldn't let AGHA go. And why CHIMERA was Ne-Ever going to come to me. Argh. I really enjoyed this work-out and am disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to finish it.

There's plenty more to talk about, but I'm late posting as it is, so if you have questions about the puzzle, ask away in the comments. I know someone here will be able to answer them!

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Everything Else — The Lean One, in "Peer Gynt" (SATAN); 25A: Directional suffix (-ERN); 26A: "... __ we extinguish sight and speech": Browning (ERE); 27A: Kennedy associate (ALITO); 29A: Nitrogen compound (AMINE); 31A: Lupe's "Later!" ("ADIOS!"); 32A: Van Helsing's creator (STOKER); 33A: Serving (PORTION); 36A: Imaginary monster (CHIMERA); 37A: Certain Honshu resident (OSAKAN); 38A: Exotic smoothie ingredient (GUAVA); 39A: Lennon love song (WOMAN); 40A: Arens of Israel (MOSHE); 41A: Part of HUD: Abbr. (DEV.); 44A: Logical tips? (ELS); 45A: Mom's dinnertime plea (TRY IT); 47A: Pundit (SWAMI); 49A: Handbook list, briefly (REGS.); 51A: Otherwise (IF NOT); 53A: Spanish cordial (ANIS); 54A: Latin I word (AMAT); 55A: Dramatic atmosphere source (FOG MACHINE); 57A: Somewhat, with "a" (MITE); 58A: Some tree sculptures (TOTEM POLES); 59A: Frost lines? (POEM); 60A: Inventory site (STORE ROOM); 1D: Mulligan, e.g. (DO-OVER); 2D: White Rabbit's cry (I'M LATE); 3D: Rabbitt's "You and I" duet partner (GAYLE); 4D: Derby-wearing Addams (ITT); 5D: Water testers (TOES); 6D: Neosporin target (ABRASION); 7D: Rodeo twirlers (LARIATS); 8D: Sees through (IS ONTO); 9D: Sealy competitor (SERTA); 10D: Cleaning aids (RAGS); 11D: 1950s Irving Berlin campaign song (I LIKE IKE); 12D: Modern storage aid (CD BURNER); 13D: Sultry Cuban dance (HABANERA); 14D: Jim with 589 lifetime homers (THOME); 22D: Luminous (RADIANT); 24D: Locals (NATIVES); 28D: Savanna stalker (LION); 30D: NYC home of Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" (MOMA); 31D: Alaskan island (ATKA); 32D: Bygone Persian title (SHAH); 33D: PA system essential (POWER AMP); 34D: The Tony Martin hit "There's No Tomorrow" is based on its melody (O SOLE MIO); 35D: English Channel resort (RAMSGATE); 36D: Pitch target? (CUSTOMER); 38D: Attending (GOING TO); 40D: "Oh, ri-i-i-i-ght!" ("MY FOOT!"); 41D: "The Merry Widow" hero (DANILO); 42D: "8 Mile" rapper (EMINEM); 43D: Workbench gadgets (VISES); 46D: Schisms (RIFTS); 48D: Exultant yell (WAHOO); 50D: Goblet feature (STEM); 52D: Not very edgy (TAME); 56D: Lifeguard's skill, for short (CPR).


Avg Joe said...

I used the wrong end of the pencil a lot today as well, PG. I actually did finish (with the help of Mr. Google in the SW) but I can't say I felt real sure of it all. Your admission makes me feel quite a bit better about it all.

WOTD = SKUA (with a google confirm). My biggest problem in the NE was having AMIDE for a long time. Erased GIBB twice, but kept coming back to it. Actually had SHAH, so that helped a lot.

In the SW I caused myself no end of grief by having O SOLo MIO. After looking that up and getting the E, REGS seemed right as did RAMSGATE. Goog to the rescue again and VOILA. Done, but with lots of assists.

Despite guessing correctly, I wasn't aware of another knockoff of O Sole Mio. I only knew of This one

Tough puzzle. Genuine workout. Glad that's over.

imsdave said...

POWERAMP? Isn't that an oxymoron? I'm also anti-Manhattan clam chowder - mine would have the New England base of cream (not milk, in my book). Would have been fun to have a self referential clue for 10A (I know Mr. Norris would never do that). Good stuff here though - very enjoyable outing.


Wow! The very first word is my favorite flower, Foxglove (DIGITALIS purpurea). I just knew I'd like this puzzle. Then the very next word was RICH and that got a huge WAHOO from me.
I usually love Brad Wilber puzzles anyway. He uses a lot of misdirect clues, introduces new words, and does those long-word corner stacks that I'm so fond of.

New words:
HABANERA (knew hot hot SALSA dancing, but not this one... I hope Obama restores Cuban relations soon... I'd like to travel there).
ANIS as a "Spanish cordial".
ATKA as an "Alaskan Island" (knew ATTU, but not this one).
SKUA as a "Lemming predator".

Cleverest clue: "Frost lines" for POEM.

Can someone please tell me where the term HOLY TERROR came from?

I just watched the movie "Van Helsing", so Bram (Abraham) STOKER was a gimme.

Here's a beautiful vid clip to start your weekend... John Lennon's WOMAN.

Glad to hear that Puzzlegirl also struggled on this one, because I thought it was extremely difficult too. I laughrd a lot when I saw your huge photo of a pencil eraser.
Now I want to know: Did anyone use a pen?

ADIOS y'all.

Rex Parker said...

Very good puzzle. Never heard of RAMSGATE, so that was tough. NE was tough for me too, PG, but somehow the "sultry" part of the HABANERA clue made me think "spicy," like a habanero pepper, so I got that w/o much effort. Also, GIBB was my first guess. OJAY is good, though.

Started with something-TREES in the NW and the "T" gave me TOES! Lucky, but it took me a while to give up on the damned TREES and (finally) get DIGITALIS.

Sfingi said...

@John - I tried to find you the source of Holy Terror. Google was of no help. I have books on idioms, but probably in a box somewhere. I suspect it goes back to the (actual, not metphorical) Crusades.

I started off fast from the NW. HTG for HABANERA, SKUA (it was either that or hawk for the 4 letters), ALDA, OSAKAN, WOMAN, ATKA, DANILO, STOKER.

I learned so much about the poor little lemmings. They are definitely predator snacks. The idea that they suicide is due to their population rising and falling rapidly.

I had gone to see Aviator, but walked out after a few minutes because the theater wouldn't turn the sound down. I'm supposed to use ear plugs, they said. When I Googled there were at least six 4-letter names.

We had ANIS recently.

O sole mio, the Neapolitan song, has been recorded by everyone (Italian) - Lanza, Caruso, Bocelli - our favorite is probably Caruso or Benjamino Gigli. It means "My Sun," and begins, "Che bella cosa, na giurnata sole" (What a beautiful thing is a sunny day}. By the way, Elvis sings, "Santa Lucia" in Italian, and with a good Italian accent.

I got RAMSGATE by crosses. Seems like at odd place for a resort.

I had "bacteria" before ABRASION. I don't use a pencil because I don't press hard enough for me to read it. Between arthritis and purblindness - I use a gel pen now and correct with a darker one.

rz said...

Tough puzzle indeed, so no need for inaccuracies to make it more difficult.

For those of us in the biological sciences, CHIMERAe are neither "imaginary" nor "monsters".


36A should have been better clued.

captcha: "etramm" - another one of those NYC transit lines I'll never know but will show up in a CW anyway.

imsdave said...

I bet most of you who don't think you know HABANERA will recognize the melody:

Friend of ARI and frequent clue for DIVA

Papa Dick said...

Thank you,thank you,thank you !!
I do the puzzles every day to ward off senility in my old age and today I thought I should scrap everything and go to the old people's home immediately. You have all given me new hope. (-;

Rube said...

I'm not sure what's going on here, but I found this to be a moderately easy puzzle. I figured there would be some comments on how this was actually two puzzles connected by only 2 letters.

Got HABANERA from the ERA, a gimme as the most famous one is from Bizet's Carmen. Wasn't sure about the L in DANILO, but this opera clue was also a gimme.

We've had the "More than comfortable" for RICH clue recently. ILIKEIKE was a wild guess. Didn't know there was a campaign song by Irving Berlin. Will google for it later. GIBB and SKUA were just there after filling in the downs. Fortunate as I know neither.

TOTEM POLES was a gimme for a boy from Seattle. I'm sure that you all know that the Seahawk's logo is a stylized bird from a traditional Pacific Northwest totem pole. Go Hawks!

My only complaint is SWAMI for pundit. AFAIK, these are two totally different things.

Like @Van55, I make note of the fact that EMINEM is the only pop culture answer, (I think), and that too is easy to guess with only the E__M.

Opera heavy & pop light makes Rube a happy boy. Thank you Brad.

Doug P said...

Excellent puzzle today. My only misstep was trying TOMATO SOUP instead of TOMATO BASE. (I wouldn't eat clam chowder, white or red, if you paid me.) Brad and I have collaborated on a few puzzles, so maybe I've developed a mini-mind-meld with him. His puzzles are much easier for me than they used to be.

@rz-You're right about the biological meaning of CHIMERA, but Brad's clue is just as valid. "Imaginary monster" is a straight-up dictionary definition of CHIMERA.

Margaret said...

I'm with @Rube; found it easier than expected. My only real problem was the intersection of ANIS and DANILO. I was kicking myself for not memorizing the dang Spanish cordial when we had it recently... when up into my brain floated the comment "why do we need ANOTHER clue for ANI" since there's already the black cuckoo, singer Difranco, Wheel of Fortune buy (when it's singular)... so thanks to whoever posted that. It was the only thing that allowed me to fill in that square.

Peter said...

Yeah, what's up with SWAMI / pundit? I really wanted DIGITALIS to be FOXGLOVE (if it would fit), since I only know digitalis as the drug preparation.

HOLYTERROR is a sort of reversal clue, since I only remember the term in the context of Mary Poppins: It's the term George uses to describe his draconian childhood nanny, Miss Andrew.

Anyway, I liked the puzzle overall.

ddbmc said...

I still have some hair left, but not much! NW and NE went in easily, but in the SW and SE, was flummoxed by A MITE and RAMSGATE( a beach resort-wow!). 44A-Logical tips- ELS? Meaning the "L's" at each end of the word, "LOGICAL? Sorry-way down in the definition list for me.

POWERAMP took FOREVER to materialize, as all I could come up with was SPEAKER, MICROPHONE, POWERCORD-this after Music son just got a new PA system! (Taking my brain to the woodshed!)

Personal natick was: DANILO & ANIS, tho' sambuca would be my cordial of choice.

Eric said...

Finished, in good time, no Googles. Two late-week puzzles in a row. WAHOO!

Not sure what's up with that, considering how often I DNF puzzles that y'all breeze right through. Part of it was luck: I made a bunch of semi-educated guesses, which mostly happened to be right: HABANERA, from the H and the music (I forgot where it was from, but knew there was a Spanish piece by that name); I LIKE IKE (knew the slogan from crosswords, but not that it was a song); the DANILO x ANIS "N" (my final square); and a few others.

None of it came easily, mind you, but the only really hair-tearing section was the NW, and DIGITALIS finally unlocked that.

The only real gimmes were POEM (awesome clue!) and MOSHE -- but with the latter in place, I caught the AGHA mistake as I was typing it ("no, AGHA ends with -HA, not -AH"), which saved me from @PG's troubles in the NE...

I loved seeing FOG MACHINE! I have one, and get a fair amount of use out of it, so that could have been a gimme -- when I saw the clue, my first thought was "fogger". But since my reaction was such a personal one, I didn't think it could be what the puzzle was looking for. Plus, my usual word for it is "fogger", not "fog machine". All in all, I was, um, befogged for quite a while.

@imsdave: POWER AMP is legitimate. In higher-end audio, the device that we mere mortals think of as an "amplifier" is split into two units, the preamp and power amp. It's the preamp that has all the input connectors, controls, etc. The power amp's only job is to amplify, and its only control is likely to be an on/off switch. In this picture, the power amp is the bottom box; I'm almost sure the preamp is second from the top. (The sequence goes: inputs (CD player, tuner, etc.), preamp, power amp, speakers.)

Anonymous said...

No complaints about Jim Thome from the sports-challenged. Surprising.

choirwriter said...

Okay, now I feel like a real weirdo, because I could NOT figure out Friday's puzzle AT ALL, but found today's to be really easy, especially for a Saturday. I thought maybe the paper got the two mixed up.

Go figure.

But I really liked this puzzle!

mac said...

Now about Jim Thome!!
No, never heard of him, but then there is "meter".

Very good puzzle. I saw skua after I finished, good thing I got the crosses.

Odd that habanera is spelled with a b instead of a v. Export name?

How about that pundent.;-)

Jeff said...

I worked through NW corner and although the NE was my last to finish the only answer Googled after completed was SKUA. New one for me...

The most challenging was the SW corner. The killer was MITE, I had MERE which kept me from OSO LE MIO and RAMSGATE initially. Once I worked the downs, MERE had to be changed. I'm still scratching my head on this one..

Spanish cordial was deduced the same way. Otherwise, good puzzle...

Anonymous said...

How deep in a computer's catacombs did Wilber dig for "the lean one" in Peer Gynt? As a lover of Scandinavian music I could find no reference to it. Even the Ibsen story synopsis had no mention of it! And, to say Manhattan Clam Chowder has a "tomato base" is a stretch - I asked a chef and she cringed!! (diced tomatoes only as an "add in)". To misquote Mr. Ed, "W-I-L-L-L-B-E-R!"

Jeff said...

BTW, Habanera was on Jeopardy the other night. Made that one easy....

Avg Joe said...

Off topic. It's a winter afternoon here in Nebraska. Snow cover, cloud cover, 17 degrees. Fugly. I've largely wasted it watching/listening to a Boz Scaggs DVD. From that, I offer this:

Look What You've Done to Me"


CarolC said...

@PG, thank you, thank you! NE was also my undoing. I had I LIKE IKE and erroneously AMIDE, but everything else north of that was unknown. Didn't google, came here first. SKUA? Really? Now of course I see RICH, ALDA, ERN as obvious and gettable, but not from where I was. To see that the infallible Puzzle Girl was stumped makes me feel that there is still hope for me!

I did enjoy the Frost lines POEM and METER. Was looking to fit IAMB in there somewhere but not today.

KJGooster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shrub5 said...

@Avg Joe: Thanks for the music. Boz was part of the popular music scene in SF when I lived there in the good old days (late 60's - 70's.)